Pillows are often overlooked or dismissed as an aside when buying furniture and accessories for the bedroom – with more attention typically being devoted to the mattress, bed base, duvet cover and even headboard. However, along with the mattress, your choice of pillows is absolutely instrumental in providing what you need to get a regular good night’s sleep. Therefore it’s not an overestimation to say that, like your mattress, your pillows are closely linked your overall health and wellbeing.
The effects of an unsuitable pillow range from general tiredness through lack of sleep, through to medical complaints such as neck, shoulder and upper back pains. Sleeping on a poor performing pillow over a significant period of time will naturally have a cumulative effect, with problems getting worse ongoing.
Pillows are becoming increasingly varied, but here are some of the most commonly-available types;
Synthetic fibre-filled pillows: often called ‘hollow-fibre’, these pillows are typically inexpensive and are produced to such a variety of firmness levels that they cover most people’s comfort preferences. Also the sensitivity of those who are allergic to certain natural materials makes them an obvious choice for some. Negative aspects of hollow-fibre pillows is their tendency to bunch up after a relatively short period of usage, and an overall loss of support and shape.
Down or feather-filled pillows: a traditionally luxury or at least high-quality choice, down or feather-filled pillows provide great levels of softness and comfort. Due to their almost extreme levels of softness down-filled pillows aren’t for everyone, and they require careful daily airing or ‘plumping’ to retain performance over time.
Memory foam pillows: these pillows use the same hi-tech materials found in memory foam mattresses, in the same layered combination that provides body-moulding support. However, as with memory foam mattresses, there are lots of cheap, low quality pillows available that pertain to be ‘memory foam’ but are in fact using low quality foams that don’t offer the same performance either immediately or long-term.
Orthopedic pillows: specially designed to provide dedicated support to different parts of the head, neck and body, orthopedic pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including specific ‘L’-shaped or cylindrical forms. Due to their requirement to offer firm support, these pillows are typically synthetic or memory foam-based.